American Furies: Crime, Punishment, and Vengeance in the Age by Sasha Abramsky

By Sasha Abramsky

During this dramatic exposé of U.S. penitentiaries and the groups round them, Sasha Abramsky reveals that prisons have dumped their age-old target of rehabilitation, frequently for political purposes. the recent “ideal,” unknown to such a lot americans, is a punitive mandate marked by means of a force towards vengeance.

Surveying this kingdom of affairs—life sentences for nonviolent crimes, appalling stipulations, the expansion of non-public prisons, the therapy of juveniles—Abramsky asks: Does the vengeful impulse ennoble our tradition or demean it? What can develop into of people that are quarantined for years in a violent lifestyle? California’s 3 moves legislation typifies the politics that make the most the grief of victims’ households and our fears of violent crime. Brilliantly researched and compellingly advised, American Furies exhibits that the ethos of “lock ’em up and throw away the key” has huge, immense social expenses.

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Extra info for American Furies: Crime, Punishment, and Vengeance in the Age of Mass Imprisonment

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Pennsylvania’s penal transformation was in keeping with countrywide trends. Nationally, the number of state prisons in the United States went up from 592 in 1974 to 1,023 in 2000, with hundreds of additional facilities for state inmates run by private companies and dozens more operated by the federal Bureau of Prisons. Much of this institutional expansion took place in just ten states: in Texas, the number of prisons went up an almost unfathomable 706 percent from 1979 to 2000, with 137 new prisons built in the Lone Star State during these years.

These guys throw piss, shit on trays, put sperm in cups. That’s a health hazard. But it’s not okay to take a photo of a prisoner nude and strapped up? There are worse things going on in the system. ” “It’s Greene County,” said one of Kinsell’s colleagues in the tourism o‰ce. ” There was, according to Lucy Northrup, co-owner and general manager of the Observer, one of two local papers, “more of a protest about the fact we published some of the pictures on the front page than about the acts themselves.

Not until 1913 did the last vestiges of the pure isolation model wither away, ultimately replaced by a more communal, less coercively silent system of imprisonment. Not least because of problems such as rampant self-mutilation, the historian Norman Johnston titled his definitive history of the prison Eastern State Penitentiary: Crucible of Good Intentions. Like Moundsville, Eastern State housed prisoners well into the latter half of the twentieth century, the structure being continually enlarged—and the integrity of its ingenious architectural layout undermined—to meet the needs of a growing prisoner population.

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